It’s America’s birthday this week, and there is no shortage of celebrations. Our forefathers signed the Declaration of Independence 242 years ago. Their battle for freedom continued for eight more years before the colonies were freed from Britain’s grasp. In 1781, before America’s decisive win at Yorktown, the state of Massachusetts made July 4 an official holiday. It wasn’t until 1870 that Congress made it a federal holiday.
Here is a list of local events celebrating the Fourth of July.
Friday, June 29
Field of Honor
Visit the North Carolina Field of Honor, which is located at the Airborne & Special Operations Museum parade field downtown. Each flag on the field honors someone who has served or is currently serving in the armed forces. It is a salute to the modern patriots who have defended the hard-won freedoms the revolutionaries fought so diligently to claim almost 250 years ago. The flags come down July 6. Find out more at www.ncfieldofhonor.com.
Saturday, June 30
Cardboard Boat Race and Demolition Derby at Hope Mills Lake. The town of Hope Mills kicks of a weeklong celebration with a boat race. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will be adult and youth races in single and multiple rower categories. Boats will be judged at noon with racing to follow. Boats will be judged on speed, style and spirit. All proceeds benefit Hope Mills Lake projects. Learn more at townofhopemills.com.
The Hope Mills Lake Celebration Street Dance will take place 6-9 p.m. on Trade Street. It is free to attend. Food will be available for sale. Call 910-426-4109 for details.
Enjoy America’s favorite pastime as the Fayetteville SwampDogs host The Heroes Grub and Suds Benefit Event in support of the Lone Survivor Foundation. The foundation offers therapeutic retreats for wounded service members and their families. Proceeds from this event will benefit the LSF, which is building an additional retreat facility in North Carolina. For more information on the LSF, visit its website at lonesurvivorfoundation.org.
Local breweries, food trucks and business vendors will be on hand, and the swamp will be filled with fun activities, including a military member softball game. For more information, call 910-426-5900.
Sunday, July 1
A Star-Spangled Kind of Day
From noon to 5 p.m., celebrate at Cape Fear Botanical Garden. Enjoy a tasty treat from one of the food trucks that will be on-site. Indulge in a beverage from the garden cash bar, and listen to Open Road’s classic rock cover tunes. The band will play from 1-4 p.m. Embrace the backyard barbecue tradition on a grander scale with the many activities on tap – bounce houses, lawn games, crafts and more. This is a rain or shine event. Call 910-486-0221 for details.
Heroes on the Water
From 2-6 p.m., Heroes on the Water Combined Forces Chapter will be at Hope Mills Lake to provide active-duty service members, veterans, first responders and their family members an opportunity to get on the lake for some kayaking and fishing. To register for the event or for more details, search the event on Facebook. Spectators are welcome but must provide their own seating. Call 910-426-4109 for details.
Church at the Lake
Join Common Ground, a band from Hope Mills United Methodist Church, and musicians from Highland Baptist Church and Grace Place for the Inaugural Church at the Lake at Hope Mills Lake. Bring a blanket or lawn chairs and get comfy around the gazebo. The event is free and runs from 6-9 p.m. Call 910-426-4109 to learn more.
The City of Fayetteville and the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra come together Sunday evening to present a free concert in Festival Park. It’s free, open to the public and starts at 7:30 p.m. Bring a lawn chair or blanket to sit on and then kick back and enjoy patriotic and popular works to celebrate Independence Day. There will be fireworks immediately following. Call 910-433-4690 for more information.
Art and Jazz at the Lake
Hope Mills Lake offers Art and Jazz at the Lake from 6-9 p.m. Listen to cool jazz performed by The All-American Jazz Quintet while watching local artists paint by the lake shore. There will be activities for children, including crafts, water color painting and drawing. Peruse arts and crafts booths set up by North Carolina artists, and stop by Big T’s or one of the many onsite food trucks. Call 910-426-4109 or search the event on Facebook to learn more.
Hope Mills continues its celebration with a Beach Dance at Hope Mills Lake. DJ Ronnie will provide music, and local food trucks will be on-site with food for sale. Call 910-426-4109 for details.
Wednesday, July 4
The Fayetteville Running club hosts the Firecracker 4-miler at the North Carolina Veterans Park. The course winds through the beautiful, historic sites of downtown Fayetteville. The event runs from 7-10 a.m. and costs between $10 and $30. There is also a 1-miler event, which starts at 8:15 a.m. Call 910-494-6708 for more information.
Fort Bragg’s Fourth of July Celebration
Each year, Fort Bragg invites the public to its parade field for a fourth of July celebration to remember. There will be music, parachute freefall demonstrations, the popular flag ceremony, fireworks, food and beverages. This year’s headliner is country music star Trace Adkins. The event runs from 3-10 p.m. and is free and open to the public. Call 910-396-9126 to learn more.
Hope Mills’ July 4th Celebration
This is a busy day in Hope Mills with a parade from 10 a.m. to noon followed by Party in the Park from 4-10 p.m. at Hope Mills Municipal Park. There will be live music, bounce houses, horseshoe and washer tournaments, water slides, food and craft vendors and more. The celebration ends with fireworks, scheduled for 9:15 p.m.
Red, White & Boat
Spring Lake Outpost offers an entire day and evening filled with Americana. From 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., enjoy a day in the outdoors, floating down the river. Tickets cost $20-$60 an include a boat rental, local craft beer, sparkles and shuttle transportation. Call 910-248-3409 for more information.
Thursday, July 5
Hope Mills Food Truck Rally
Every first Thursday July through September, Hope Mills hosts a food truck rodeo at Hope Mills Municipal Park. Enjoy outdoor music, great food, children’s activities, vendor booths and more. No seating is provided, so bring a lawn chair or a blanket to sit on. To learn more, call 910-426-4103.